Facebook is primarily a social networking platform but it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone these days that it has grown far past that narrow definition. The tech giant has its hands in pretty much anything that can be associated with being social, including virtual reality or even money. Going beyond the usual culprits of product ads and purchasing stuff on Facebook, it has turned its Messenger platform into a P2P money transfer service of its own, one that may have just become easier in Facebook’s latest update.
There is, of course, no shortage of platforms that let you send or receive money over the Internet, with the likes of PayPal and Venmo being some of the most popular. Not everyone, however, has an account on those platforms and they’re more likely to have a Facebook account and, therefore, a Messenger account. That’s pretty much Facebook’s spiel for Messenger’s new payment system, which is almost immediately available to anyone who has a Facebook account in the US.
It isn’t as fast as it can be though, since it requires that the persons sending and receiving money are already friends on the network. Unlike PayPal, which only requires knowing the recipient’s email address, this system is too cumbersome for one-off or ad-hoc payments. That is exactly the hurdle that Facebook is now removing in its latest update to the system.
Facebook Pay users on Messenger can now simply go to the app’s settings to retrieve their personal payment link or QR Code to distribute to those who want to send them money. The latter is especially useful for users you haven’t even messaged before, let alone added to your friends list. This feature is, however, still available only in the US and, of course, requires the Messenger app to be installed.
The update also brings new themes to Messenger as well as Instagram, at least if you’ve linked the two. Messenger now also makes it possible to reply directly when viewing an image so that you don’t have to jump back to the conversation, long-tap the image, and then give your fleeting and spontaneous reaction.